What temperature is cool’? Around this time of year in the UK, it is usually during my third or fourth consecutive duck-dive that the tiny bit of my brain that hasn’t entered the early stages of cryogenic freezing starts to think how cool it would be to surf in some warmer water this winter.
32°C would be nice; at that temperature I could surf comfortably in boardshorts, l could stay out longer because l wouldn’t be wasting all my energy shivering, and I could ride waves with a looser style than the current Quasimodo sun/ival stance that I adopt through the colder months. Yes, 32°C would be lovely, thank you. But it is also around this time of year in the UK that
I succumb to wearing the extra rubber of my hooded winter wetsuit. Protected from the
elements, it is usually during my third or fourth consecutive duck-dive that my sufﬁciently insulated
brain starts to think how cool it would be to SLll’f in some colder water this winter, especially when I reach the crowded line-up and realise how modern wetsuit technology has made hundreds of other
people as brave as me. I’m sure l could do colder. 2°C would be ﬁne; at that temperature l would have
the waves to myself, I could surf any peak l wanted and riding cold water waves would once again be
an achievement to feel proud of. Sure it would sting, but in return for surfing alone, 2°C would be
lovely, thank you. Of course, l am not the only surfer having this ice-cream brainwave. Recently, Matt Knight invited the DC surf team on board a boat trip with him to score some textbook reef perfection. But this boat wasn’t bound for lndo, it was setting sail for the craggy coastline of Ireland. Boardies were left behind in favour of booties, Bintangs were replaced with pints of Guinness, and the only crowds were the cows watching them explore empty set ups from afar. Of course, the tropical climate of lndo was also traded for the unpredictable weather of Ireland. Needless to say it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Whitby in Yorkshire has long been the cold water training ground for East Coast surfers working their way up to the more notorious reefs. The frigid waters have always kept away most visiting surfers, but one local agreed to give us the lowdown on the chilly, but dedicated surf scene there. According to the resin manufacturers, the ideal temperature for glassing a board is around 18°C. Nice if you can get it, but when you’re just shaping boards for yourself, you work with what you’ve got, even if that means glassing in a 5°C garage. We were thinking that home-shaping was a dying alt -a difficult, time-consuming exercise which in these days of never-ending quality board choice would seem pointless. But we were wrong. Inside the freezing garages of surfers, we discovered a thriving culture of beautifully crafted DIY surfboards, more relevant than ever to their makers. So, if you are heading off to warmer climates with your pro model high-performance board, we hope this issue inspires you to appreciate what a cool
experience you’re going to have. And if you’re thawing out your winter wetsuit for an icy dawny on your homemade creation that only you could love, we hope this issue will keep that ﬁre in your belly stoked.
Editor (and freshly frozen)